Crush the King by Jennifer Estep

Crush the King (Crown of Shards, #3)

by Jennifer Estep

A fierce gladiator queen must face off against her enemies in an epic battle in this next thrilling installment of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep’s Crown of Shards series—an action-packed adventure full of magic, murderous machinations, courtly intrigue, and pulse-pounding romance.

Queen Everleigh Blair of Bellona has survived the mass murder of the royal family, become a fearsome warrior trained by an elite gladiator troupe, and unleashed her ability to destroy magic. After surviving yet another assassination attempt orchestrated by the conniving king of Morta, Evie has had enough. It’s time to turn the tables and take the fight to her enemies. 

There is no better opportunity to strike than during the Regalia Games, a time when warriors, nobles, and royals from all the kingdoms come together to compete in various sporting events. With the help of her loyal friends, Evie goes on the attack at the Regalia, but things don’t turn out the way she hopes. Soon, she is facing a terrifying new threat, and she will have to dig deep and learn even more about her growing magic if she has any chance of defeating her foes.

Because to secure her throne and ensure her kingdom’s survival, Evie must think like a true Bellonan: she must outsmart and outwit her enemies . . . and crush the king.

Reviewed by Minx on

4 of 5 stars

I loved that Crush the King included the Regalia Games because what a way to circle back to the gladiator days that all fans of this series enjoyed! There was no better place to bring out the truth of what had been taking place for queen Everleigh Saffira Winter Blair of Bellona because it was a great platform for a confrontation! There was plenty of action and machinations taking place leading up the games but my love for this book increased once Everleigh and the crew made it to Fortuna Island, where the event was taking place.

With all the kingdoms gathered for the competition it was finally time for the readers to meet Everleigh’s nemesis, Maximus Mercer Moreland Morricone, the king of Morta. What a truly despicable villain! He was the kind of character that I love to loathe. What a perfect enemy! I know that I was rooting for Everleigh to finally have her chance for a face to face confrontation with the king of Morta and, wow, did this story deliver. Everleigh thought she was ready for anything but Maximus was more cunning than she could have anticipated and the Bellonan’s were going to have the fight of their lives to survive what he and his cohorts had to dish out.

There were many exciting and nail-biting moments in Crush the King! I enjoyed that I was kept in suspense as Everleigh and her friends tackled one battle after another. Her character had grown so much over the course of this series and it was wonderful to see her finally starting to have the confidence that she needed to be queen. I will say there were some parts of this book that did drive me a little batty, like Everleigh’s constant referencing in regards to emotional scents and the long game she was playing, I could have done with less of those comments. What I missed the most was Sullivan. He was a great supporting character but I really expected more with him in this book. Overall though, Crush the King was a captivating page turner that was a satisfying series ending book but one that left room for spin off books, let’s hope for that.

This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

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Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 29 February, 2020: Finished reading
  • 29 February, 2020: Reviewed